PUBLIC information has been revealed on the latest development project in Andalucia to make use of the controversial new Urban Planning Law.
A 2-star rural hotel is to be constructed in the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park.
The site is located 300 metres to the west of an old farmhouse in the Los Ricardillos area close to the Cala de San Pedro.
The plan will involve recommissioning 500 square metres of land to form a two storey hotel, along with access roads and parking.
There are also plans to be discussed regarding the construction of a swimming pool.
Developers are hoping that once the plan gets the go ahead, the project will take two years to complete with an investment of nearly €1 million.
According to the developers, they are making use of the new Urban Planning Law to enable them to claim the land of the derelict farmhouse, changing its use from residential to commercial.
Currently, the land that the farmhouse sits on is classed as B1 protected land and unsuitable to be altered, however the proposed site, 300 metres away, falls under B2 and is therefore, develop-able.
Environmental protection groups are lamenting the project as yet another blow to the rapidly decreasing coastline.
The area also does not have access to electricity and waste facilities. Therefore the rural hotel will make use of a generator, a feature that has also angered green groups.
Access and parking is also a key concern for the environmental group ‘Amigos del Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata-Níjar’, as currently there is only limited access to the site.
With a proposed 22 rooms and up to a 50 person capacity, a dramatic increase in traffic is expected to the once unspoilt area of the Cabo de Gata.
As has been the linchpin of the entire urban planning reform in Andalucia, promoters are pushing the tourist income aspect of the project.
The developer, which has not been named publically yet, ensures that the hotel will remain respectful to the landscape and create minimal environmental impact.
An issue, similar to the Maro / Larios project, will also likely cause a headache for local councils and developers alike as settlers have long called the Cala de San Pedro cove their home.
The Cala de San Pedro is well known as the last remaining hippie community in Andalucia and has been there since the 1970s.
The community is a popular destination for tourists seeking tranquility and a taste of the remote life as the 50 inhabitants sell crafts, food and drinks to passersby.
Generally accepted by the area for their respectfulness of the landscape and coexisting with the natural surroundings, they will likely be dramatically affected if the project goes ahead.
If the hotel plans come to life, the beach area and the Las Negras trail that is used to access it will be subject to a tenfold increase in foot traffic, putting extreme pressure on the tranquil community.